As we head into the latter part of August, drought conditions persist along the Rocky Mountain front and the Big Hole, Ruby, Beaverhead and Jefferson Rivers remain a concern. Local Drought Coordinators across the basin are closely monitoring flows, and coordinating efforts among water users to "share the shortages" in an effort to keep some water in the rivers for the fisheries. It is often a complicated and not very popular task, so we appreciate everyone's efforts as we try to make it through until cooler weather arrives. The low stream flows and warm temperatures have required hoot owl fishing restrictions across many of the rivers, especially in the headwaters area.
Below, you'll find area-specific summaries of local drought indicators that will give you a robust snapshot of the August conditions in your area. Don't forget to click on the links to dig a little deeper, and explore some of the great water resource information available.
Community Drought Forums:
DNRC and Lieutenant Governor Cooney are hosting Community Drought Forums in Bozeman on Sept. 8 from 11-12:30 (Bozeman Public Library, 626 E. Main St), Billings on Sept 7 from 3:00-4:30, and Missoula on Sept 13 from 2:00-3:30 both at the Public Libraries. These forums will provide an opportunity to convey how drought affects you and your livelihood, showcase any locally-grown water shortage solutions, and highlight the resources you need to increase drought resilience in your community. It will also be an opportunity to provide feedback to the state as it approaches updating the Montana Drought Response Plan.
I hope to see you at one of the forums, and please don't hesitate to get in touch.
DNRC State Water Planner for the Upper Missouri River Basin